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Pregnant Woman’s Thanksgiving Tips on Avoiding Intrusive Questions and Fights

 

Tis the season for conspicuous consumption and overeating.

Also, welcome the season of family gatherings, togetherness and bonding. Sadly, this is also a time for tension, rudeness and gaffes, feeding grudges, creating new ones and dodging snarky barbs, criticism and other well-meaning but annoying questions and comments from family members.

My audience is pregnant women mainly so if you’re expecting, I know your emotions are on level 100 and tolerance for bull is at -100!

Here are some quick tips I thought of to set you and the kids straight in the manners department and for escaping the family gatherings still loving one another, well, mostly.

Moms-to-be – Bite your tongue, mama! Bite it! If it will help, carry a squeeze ball to torture when you run out of nerves to handle some of the intrusive questions and comments you will get:

  • Were you trying?
  • Did you want a boy/girl?
  • Why did you pick that name?
  • So you are sticking with that name (the passive aggressive version)
  • Another one?
  • This is it right? (the passive aggressive version)

Your Kids- Your children might have heard you talking about Aunt Sally’s no-good boyfriend with no job or Uncle Rob’s arrest or Cousin Barb getting fired for the 3rd time this year. Remind them to not bring any of this  up or butt in with an opinion on whatever personal stresses, trauma or gossip they may or may not have overheard you yapping about this year. Trust.

Manners – If you’re hosting, remind the kids of basic manners. You know they won’t remember.  Tell the kids to take coats and throw them gently in that pile on the bed when there is no more room in the coat closet.  Remind them to say please, and thank you and to share their toys with their cousins and other children coming over. And to play nice and try to stick to the basement. Ha! Just kidding, but yeah.

If you are going over someone’s house as a guest, remind them to not complain out loud about Great Aunt Wilhelmina’s funny smell, or twist up their noses at your cousin’s girlfriends attempt as string bean salad. It’s hard not to wear emotions on your sleeve when you’re staring at raisins in a macaroni dish, but blame the Food Network (in  your head) and don’t start any beefs over it.

Dinner Topics: Politics and Religion – Try to avoid both topics especially in these contentious times. If they come up , switch up the convo.  Even if everyone in the family are of the same political bent, these are still complex topics that can get heated and go from 0 to 100 Real Quick!

Clean Up – Know when to call it a night and rap up. If you’re a guest, don’t take all of the people’s leftovers in the carryout container you brought with you. Leave them a spoonful or two.

But do offer to do the dishes, or send in one of your older children to help. You’ll still get the credit! ha!  If you’re expecting, you’ll probably get a pass anyone on clean up duty because you shouldn’t be on your feet anyway!  Yeah, milk this pregnancy for all it’s worth! ha!

If you’re hosting and you had enough, feel free to hug and kiss the last stragglers good night, blame it on the baby and leave them right there and all the dishes for your spouse and kids to clean up. Hopefully, they’ll get the hint and exit after you leave. Ha! That’s not rude. Is it? ha!

I think that’s it!

Chime in and drop us some more on line! Connect with us @Bellyitch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

What to Do If You’re Involved In A Car Accident While Pregnant



There at 170,000 car collision accidents in the U.S. involved pregnant women in 2018, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan. While some of these collisions were deemed as minor accidents, some of these cases were more severe.

It is one of the risks that pregnant women need to watch out for while on the road. But being pregnant should not stop you from hopping on a car to reach your destination. As a matter of fact, riding a car to go to your dream babymoon destinations  different parts of the country can be more convenient than flying.

Just make sure that you are following these helpful tips while on the road in case you met an accident before reaching the end of your journey.

Go Straight to The Nearest Hospital

Go The most logical step that pregnant women must immediately do after a car crash is to see a medical practitioner. According to legal experts from FVF Law, having a doctor check a person’s condition after a car crash is the most ideal way to rule out the possible injuries sustained during the accident.

The doctors will start monitoring the pregnant woman and her baby to check for fetal distress as well as other possible problems through different lab procedures.

Talk To The Obstetrician

The pregnant woman must also inform her obstetrician while on her way to the hospital. The specialist should be kept in the loop regarding all the treatments that the victim must undergo since the doctor will be the one to take care of her and the baby. If the victim and the unborn child is still fine, then the obstetrician can take over and provide the necessary follow-up care until the due date.

The specialist will also provide all the necessary information regarding the victim’s pregnancy and the accident. This is needed to file for claims later on.

Hire A Legal Counsel

If the pregnant woman will demand claims due to the car accident, then she must have a lawyer by her side to help her with the case. The experienced lawyer can take over all the stressful tasks of filing for claims to ensure the safety of the mother and the baby.

The lawyer will take care of all the investigations and talk to the insurance companies. He or she may also coordinate with the doctor and the hospital to get pieces of evidence for the claims.

This is very necessary since the pregnant woman needs all the time to recuperate and heal from the injuries in order to care for the life inside her womb.

Once a pregnant woman receives the go signal from the medical experts for release, she still needs to watch out for signs of possible after-effects.

These include vaginal bleeding, premature contractions or other kinds of abdominal pain, or unusual fluid leaks. She must also observe if the baby’s movements suddenly decreased.

If any of these signs appeared, then she needs to return to the doctor immediately to get the best treatments.

Useful Tips on Maternity Wear Options These Days

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

When you find out  you’re expecting, besides adjusting your diet, exercise and sleep pattern, ingesting prenatal vitamins and visiting the doc more regularly, you know you’ll have to adjust your wardrobe at some point. Fortunately for you, the industry has evolved over the years so that there are a lot more options available to you.

Nursing dresses                                                                       

A nursing dress is usually designed in such a way that it makes it easy for a mother to breastfeed her baby. When buying a maternity dress, you should ensure that it is not very tight for better comfort. The color and design of the dress should be chosen out of personal taste and preference. You can visit the internet, where you can find displayed maternity clothing online. That will give you a wide variety of nursing dress designs to choose from.

Special events maternity dresses

Perhaps you have a special event coming up soon, and you have no idea what you should wear on that day. This is very common with women that are having a baby for the first time. You can check out different online stores that deal with maternity attires for ideas. Several of them will have colorful and high-quality maternity attire that are meant for special occasions.

Maternity night dresses

You are probably used to the typical kind of nightdresses, but suddenly you realize that they no longer fit. Unfortunately, all the clothes that you have do not feel comfortable sleeping in. This should not worry you since there are specially made maternity dresses that you can sleep in. These types of night gowns are mostly made out of comfortable and light material for better sleep.

Maternity shapewear

If you have a formal event you have to attend, you might want to tighten up some parts of your body (not your belly though and here is where maternity shape wear comes into play). They cinch your legs, hips and thighs but not your belly like traditional shape wear would. Also, if you are the kind of person who is enthusiastic and excited about physical exercises, then the good news is that there are maternity athleisurewear wear and work out great that are made for that exact purpose. Just like training and athletic wear, these kinds of  pieces are made of a particular type of material that will allow you to exercise and stay in shape.

T-shirts

T-shirts are some of the most relaxed attires that you can wear when pregnant, and they are available in various stores selling maternity clothing online. The good thing about the online stores is that you can get to pick the type of t-shirt you want, and that will have it delivered to your address.

Good luck moms to be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Healthier Holiday Snacking Options for the Family

 





Welcome to the holiday season.

 A time of year known for larger meals, shorter days, colder weather, and, unfortunately, a little more stress on the buttons of your pants.

Even the kids fall victim to the dreaded winter-time munchies, snacking on everything in sight.  

We all go through it. However, there are some ways to beat back the holiday bulge by choosing healthier snacks in between those cookie swaps, holiday parties, and grandma’s apple tarts.

We’d love to propose a piece focused on healthy “snack hacks” that will help folks keep the pounds off during the holiday season without getting in the way of their merriment. Here are a few examples:



1. HUMMUS: THE ULTIMATE VEGGIE DIPPER

It seems like nearly everything has hummus on it these days and for good reason. The perfect blend of mashed chick peas, spices, and heart-healthy olive oil can turn some bland carrots and celery into a Mediterranean flavor-vacation.



2. EDAMAME: SUSHI’S FAVORITE SIDE 

While we’re using our tastebuds to travel the world, why not try some edamame. These teeny soybean(y) pods offer a delicious and nutritious alternative to handfuls of potato chips. PRO TIP: Steam ’em in the microwave and toss them in some sea salt. Trust us.

3.  WHO YOU CALLIN’ JERKY, TURKEY?

It’s shriveled, it’s salty, it’s delicious. Turkey jerky is probably the most underrated snack on this list. Much maligned and overshadowed by its beefier cousin, turkey is a lean meat full of protein to keep you full without a ton of calories to slow you down. Plus, it lasts forever.

4. PROTEIN BOOSTER: MICROWAVABLE EGGS 

I know what you’re saying, microwaved eggs? Eggs are full of protein, eminently diverse, and available in Egg Bite form that just large enough to be a hearty snack or replace a small meal. Three Bridges Egg Bites will change your mind about microwaved eggs.



5. BAKED SWEET POTATO OR KALE CHIPS

Kale is having a moment and sweet potatoes are a staple. So of course they make great chips. The key here is that they are baked and not fried, making them infinitely healthier than regular chips while retaining the salty crunchiness you need to get through that 4 p.m. budget meeting. 

Teach Your Child These 8 Money Lessons Your Parents Might Not Have Taught You

All parents want nothing but the best for their kids, and that includes growing up to be successful in life. But when it comes to money, many parents struggle terribly to teach their kids about it.

The good news: even parents who haven’t been financially successful themselves can teach their kids everything they need to know about money including how misunderstood it is by the masses.

Self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, author of the new book “How Money Works: Stop Being a Sucker,”offers these 8 tips to help parents teach their kids how money works:

  1. Teach your kids to dream big: The self-made rich are the biggest dreamers in the world, and parents encourage their kids to dream beyond what they think is possible. The truth is that not all their ideas are winners, but that doesn’t discourage them from thinking about it. Encourage you kids to dream about whatever it is that motivates, excites and drives them.

2. Teach your kids to build a healthy relationship with money: Unfortunately, most people see money through the eyes of fear and scarcity. The wealthy teach their kids to look at money as a positive force in their lives, and see it through the eyes of freedom, possibility, abundance and opportunity.

3. Teach your kids that wealth is nonlinear: School and most of what you learn is going to teach you to think in linear terms or in a straight line. 123. ABC. Unfortunately, the serious problems in society are rarely solved at this basic level of thought. Encourage your kids to look at things in as many different ways as possible, and in ways that other people never even consider. Teach them that linear thinking is the obvious. Nonlinear thinking is the nonobvious. Linear thinking will make your kids a living. Nonlinear thinking will make them rich.

4. Teach your kids to maintain a sense of urgency: Teach your kids that with each passing year, time seems to accelerate, so they must operate with a sense of urgency. The masses procrastinate, stall and put-off fulfilling their commitments to the very last minute, which is often too late. Teach your kids it starts now by completing their class assignments, homework, chores, sports or music practice, and anything else they commit to in advance or at least on time.

5. Teach your kids to embrace conflict: Most people avoid conflict at all costs. They hate it. Teach your kids that constructive conflict can be a valuable learning mechanism. When smart people disagree on ideas, philosophies and strategies, new levels of understanding can be reached. Teach your kids to keep their emotions out of conflict and look at it through the eyes of logic and learning. If they do this, they’ll be able to use conflict to learn, grow, be more successful and make more money. Remember, conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.

6. Teach your kids to fail forward: Teach your kids that success is usually built on a series of attempts and failures. Most of the world views failure as a death sentence. Instead of learning from the failure and moving forward, most people shrink back into their comfort zones and play it safe for the rest of their lives. Teach your kids that failure isn’t fun, but it is the required foundation of making it big. Making mistakes and the education they will give you is to be expected and embraced.

7. Teach your kids to take responsibility: Teach your kids they are responsible for their success, fulfillment and happiness. Most people like to blame everyone and everything but themselves for their struggles. It’s never their faults because they refuse to grow up and accept the fact that they are makers of their own destinies. Teach your kids not to wait for the hero on the white horse to come riding in to save them. They are the heroes and they are 100% responsible for saving themselves.

8. Teach your kids to cocoon themselves: Teach your kids to be selective over who gains access to their inner circle. The masses see this as an elitist action successful people take to isolate themselves from others because they think they’re better. That’s simply not true. Cocooning is about protecting your consciousness from the fear and scarcity mindsets that plagues the masses. Dr. Albert Einstein said, “Consciousness is contagious,” and he couldn’t be righter. Your kids will be the average of the five people they spend the most time with.

Good luck, parents!

Holiday Foods You Should Avoid

holiday

holiday

Most of us are on a quest for glowing skin, but even more so as the holidays near.

While we have been taught to stay away from the usual suspects of greasy, fried, sugary, and chocolaty foods, we imbibe and consume things that are surprising skin saboteurs.

We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver board-certified plastic surgeon, for guidance on what food and drinks to avoid to achieve our best holiday complexion.

Alcohol:

First, the body metabolizes the alcohol using enzymes in your liver, which release a chemical byproduct called acetaldehyde. This byproduct is toxic to our body tissue. As a result, body tissues and skin are dehydrated, which causes premature signs aging of the skin such as wrinkles and fine lines. Dry skin is also a possibility with post-binging breakouts.

The alcohol causes inflammation to bodily tissue, releasing histamine that dilates the blood’s capillaries, so that effect is redness of the skin. When compounded over years, this redness can be permanent.

Alcohol also expands the pores of the skin, making it easier for dirt and grime to build up into blackheads. Alcohol consumption affects your sleep quality, and the dehydration compromises the regenerative cycle your body enters while you dormant. This decreases normal cellular turnover and leads to an unhealthy complexion.

 Coffee:

Caffeine has similar effects to alcohol on the body. It is also metabolized in the liver, then acts as a diuretic (hence the urge to use the restroom after drinking coffee). Diuretics also dehydrate the body tissues and skin, which in turn leads to wrinkles and premature aging. Caffeine can stress the liver just as aggressively as alcohol when consumed in large and frequent quantities. In addition, caffeine can rev you up, triggering a cortisol (stress hormone) response, which in some cases can lead to increased acne. If you love your coffee and can’t do without it, it is important to remember to drink more water to offset the dehydration. Consider drinking green tea instead. It’s a great antioxidant and causes less dehydration, due to its lower caffeine content.

 Dairy:

It is not only the caffeine in coffee that could be inducing your acne, but the added dairy as well. Whether it is whole or skim milk, all dairy products contain many artificial hormones that can lead to oil production and clogged pores, which can trigger acne breakouts. Additionally, unrecognized dairy allergies can manifest with skin symptoms like dry and itchy skin.

Shellfish:

If your holiday gatherings usually consist of seafood, try to avoid shellfish. Shellfish is high in iodine, which can inflame your skin, clog your pores, and further cause the appearance of red, uneven skin. Instead of eliminating seafood. Try filling your plate with fish that contains omega fatty acids that will improve your skin.

Sushi:

If sushi is your go-to food for lunch, dinner, or just a quick snack, you may be experiencing some skin problems. Although not all sushi is damaging, rolls such as a California Roll contain white rice, which has a high glycemic index. If you top that off with high sodium soy sauce, this has been known to aggravate breakouts. These ingredients take away moisture and circulation from the upper layer of the skin, which leads to dry and aging skin. High glycemic index carbs and excess salt can lead to a puffy appearance.

Hot Sauce/ Spicy Food:

 If you love when your mouth tingles when eating hot foods, I may have some bad news. Although spicy foods have been known to help with your metabolism, they could be the cause of your skin problems. Spicy foods like hot peppers can dilate the blood vessels in those who are already dealing with rosacea or menopause. The capillaries make the skin look less clear and less youthful.

 Soda

Sorry folks, diet soda, is included in this too! Soda’s high sodium content is not good for you and it ages your skin. Additionally, I should note that soda drinkers dehydrate they drink more soft drinks than water which causes puffiness and dull skin. Skip both kinds of sodas, diet and regular, and instead opt for fruit-infused water when you want a flavored drink.

About Dr. Manish Shah

Manish Shah, M.D., F.A.C.S. was born in Canada and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a degree in biomedical engineering. He then completed his medical training at the University of Virginia, earning his Medical Doctorate. During this time, he also completed a one-year fellowship in microsurgery research at the New York University School of Medicine / Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. As a prelude to his plastic surgery training, Dr. Shah completed a rigorous five-year training program in General and Trauma Surgery at Emory University and the Medical College of

 

7 Simple and Fun Tips For Getting Your Child to Help with Cleaning

Saturday mornings in many homes across the globe are reserved for cleaning the home. Parents, you do not have to go at it alone.

If you teach your children how to do chores and expect them to do them, you’ll not only get help cleaning but will be instilling lifelong positive habits they can benefit from forever.

Take a moment to check the 7 tips for having your kids clean their own room. These are quite simple and fun, so pick a few to test as soon as possible.

  1. Show them how to do it

Set expectations for toddlers and show them how to do the task you want them to do.

Don’t just explain it,  show them the toy box and how to put the toys away. Show them where the coloring books should be and how to put all the crayons back.

The same goes for older kids. If you don’t like how they vacuumed the floor, consider stepping in and showing them the proper way of doing it.

  1. Lead by example

Kids are copycats, and they tend to absorb things like sponges. They repeat our words and actions, whether the good or the bad ones. For this reason, it’s important to be a good example in every way, included when it comes to cleaning.

Trying to explain to your child the importance of making the bed won’t go that well if you don’t make your bed when you wake up. You may think it doesn’t matter, but it does. And, it’s a matter of time before your child figures this out and calls you out on it.

Be a good example.

  1. Let them have their space

If your child already has a room, you might want to cut them some slack on how the room should look. Surely, it shouldn’t be messy, but let them have some say in it.

Kids that have their room are more likely to want to keep it tidy. Let them have this space and arrange it in any way they want.

You can decide how to do this. Will you let your child pick the color of the walls or not is up to you, but let him/her have some say in how the room looks.

They can maybe pick the furniture or the way how things will be organized. Once it feels like that space is theirs, they will most likely care for it better.

  1. Set some rules

This is the time when you should be a bit strict. Set some rules and stick to them. These rules can be about anything you see fit from making the bed to putting away the toys.

For example, tell your child that he/she cannot watch the TV until all the toys are back in place. It might take some time and effort to accomplish the result, but if you’re strict, your child will see that there’s no other way about this.

Keep in mind that your kid might want to test how serious you are about the new rules. It might seem easier to just make the bed by yourself instead of trying to get your kid to do it. Stick to your guns and avoid the temptation.

  1. Make it fun

Let’s face it! Few people enjoy cleaning up. Make it a fun endeavor. Just like how you might play music to get through a pile of laundry, you should also consider turning this into a game for your child.

There are several ways in which you can do this. Some parents like to set up an alarm, so the kids race to finish before it rings. Some kids love competing against each other on who can pick up more toys.

Also, consider playing some music for them, so that they can dance or sing while doing this. It’s going to make a tedious job appear less daunting.

  1. Praise or reward them

This seems like the simplest way of getting kids to clean. If you tell a child that they can play a video game after they vacuum, he/she will likely vacuum the whole place without objection.

However, you want to take it easy on rewarding. You’re trying to teach good habits, so it might not be the best idea to offer a reward each time they do something. It’s because they won’t get awards for making the bed in the future.

Nonetheless, you should at least praise them for the good job they did. It’s so easy to yell when a child disobeys, but we so often forget to tell them how proud we are when they do something good.

A lot of times, children want approval so if you tell your child you are proud of the job they’ve done, they may be more likely to do it on their own.

7. Be realistic

Kids should start helping as soon as possible because it’s important to implement those good habits at an early age. However, you don’t want to be too harsh and demanding either, so make sure that your expectations are realistic.

If you want your kid to make the bed, be prepared that he/she maybe won’t do such a great job. Nonetheless, it’s important that they try.

Also, you can’t expect a child to drag your heavy-duty vacuum all the way to their room to vacuum the floor.

If you want them to clean the floors, you should maybe invest in a vacuum that they can use. Luckily, CleanThatFloor reviewed several lightweight vacuums that your kid could use.

But still, is your child big enough to vacuum? Again, set your expectations according to your kid’s age and abilities. And, don’t forget to praise them for the good job they did.

 

Good luck parents!

Before Baby Comes Home Safety Adjustments To Make

Bringing home your newborn baby can be scary. They’re so small and delicate it seems like anything could happen. Take the time to safety proof your home room by room so you can be more focused on lullabies and joys of parenthood.

Bedroom

While you already know to cover your electrical outlets and keep small items off the floor, there are other hazards you may not be aware of in your baby’s room. Start with the crib. Parents recommends getting a fixed-side crib (instead of a drop-side crib) so your baby isn’t at risk of hurting themselves if the drop side breaks or to protect them once they’re big enough to start getting themselves out of the crib. You also should keep the crib empty of stuffed animals and other big, cushy items because they can pose a suffocation hazard to small babies, and they can be used as a step stool to climb out of the crib when they’re older.

Furniture stays are also a big help since little kids like to walk, climb, push, and test their boundaries. You need to make sure that any large furniture (dressers, bookshelves, carts) is attached to a wall or fixed in place so it can’t tip over.

Kitchen

Kitchens don’t have to be a dangerous place for your baby. Your new favorite item will be cabinet locks. By putting them on, your child won’t be able to get into a drawer full of knives or glass items (and then you won’t have to worry about picking up all the Tupperware they threw on the floor). You also should invest in an oven lock. While the oven door may seem too heavy for them to open, you don’t want to risk any accidental burns.

You also need to make sure everything is out of your child’s reach. Though this might not be a big deal when they’re just a few months old, it’s a good habit to get into as they become more mobile. Cook on the back burners of your stove and turn the handles inward to make sure your baby can’t pull off any hot pans. You also should put hazardous items, such as cleaning supplies and knives, in high cabinets with a safety lock. Avoid hanging choking hazards on your fridge, such as magnets, and keep any glass items out of reach.

Living Room

You’ll spend most of your time in the living room with your family. Make sure that all electrical outlets are covered with baby-proof sockets and that all wires and cords are tucked away where they can’t be reached by small, curious hands. You may want to put baby guards around the corners of your tables and secure any decorations that could be pulled off your coffee table or entertainment center.

Set up a home automation system to help you feel more secure. With this tool you can set your alarm system, lock your doors and control the lighting and temperature of the room. These home automation features are perfect when you can’t move the sleeping baby in your lap. A video surveillance camera also can work as a nanny cam, so you can check in on your baby when they’re with a babysitter. It can also work as a baby monitor, so you can watch your baby while they’re sleeping.

As your baby grows and becomes more mobile, you’ll need to update your safety proofing. Make sure to periodically go through your rooms and check for any potential hazards. Enjoy this special time without having to worry about your child’s safety.

Crave: Hot Fall Nail Colors To Get Now



On the hunt for a new fall nail color? This time of the year, moms, moms to be and other women who like to switch up their nails and experiment

If you live in the part of the country where jewels and other adornments on the nails are common, or if you work in the fashion industry, you might want to check out the latest trends in nail art and jewels.

 

I love variations of burgundy, blues and orange for the fall. Also, yellow and forest green are common hues as well.

 

I are my picks (source) and (source)

Mental Health Check Ins to Make During and After Pregnancy

mental health

 

mental health

Giving birth to your little one signals a new chapter in your parenthood journey. But in many ways, it’s also a return to getting to know yourself again — this time, through the lens of motherhood.

However, a lot of mothers find it difficult to jump back into their old life, and it’s not just because of the bodily changes (although that does play a huge role). The past nine months have been all about preparing for your baby’s arrival, which means that moments of genuine self-care — where you were only thinking about yourself — were probably few and far between.

Read on below for some tips on how to get yourself back on track after giving birth:

Check in with your mental health

Perhaps the first and most vital tip on this list is to take stock of your mental health. The Office on Women’s Health notes that mood swings are common after giving birth, listing symptoms like irritability, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Having these symptoms last for two weeks or longer may be a sign of postpartum depression, which can make your post-pregnancy adjustment even more difficult. Take a moment to ask yourself how you’re doing, and do yourself a favor and don’t try to shove any negativeness under the rug.

Instead, acknowledge what you’re feeling so you can take actionable steps.

After all, our bodies undergo so much change during pregnancy, but you only really notice the effects after giving birth. And while it’s normal to feel a little insecure about these changes, you should also take the time to celebrate the amazing miracle that your body was able to do.

Pick up a creative hobby

On the subject of celebrating your body’s accomplishments, why not pick up a creative hobby? Whether it’s sketching or collaging baby photos, it’s good to remind yourself that your body can also help you make beautiful artistic pieces. The Spruce’s list of decorative painting techniques shows that painting your wall is not only a creative booster but also a good way to get your body moving.

Sketching or journaling is another way to exercise your creative faculties and reflect on your journey thus far. You can use this time to chronicle how you’re feeling; a good practice could be taking at least five minutes of sketching or journaling time to write down things about yourself that you’re thankful for.

Find your own personal style

The rise of body-positive retailers does away with traditional sizing in order to embrace women’s bodies in all forms, which is great for post-pregnancy moms who are acquainting themselves with their new physical forms. The button-down shirt on Woman Within is made from breathable cotton – in fact, the inclusive brand’s entire range is built around basics that suit any body type. Universal Standard is another brand whose ranges focus on the basics, making it easy to create a capsule wardrobe.

You may have relied on a rotating set of old tees and sweatpants during your pregnancy, but it’s worth taking the time to dress up. Model Ashley Graham has been spotted donning her baby bump in everything from Vex Clothing’s latex dress to a dotted Tommy Hilfiger number, proving that style and mom bodies are a match made in heaven.

Slowly get back into exercise

Whether you’re a seasoned fitness buff or an exercise newbie, postpartum fitness is all about taking it slow and rediscovering how your body likes to move. Going hard right away makes you very susceptible to injuries, and you may also get discouraged if you find that your fitness level has dropped in those nine months. Good Housekeeping suggests swimming as an easy exercise to get into, as you can slowly raise your heart rate by varying up your tempo (but taking it slow provides a good workout, too).

If water sports aren’t your thing, Pilates is another option which can be done anywhere with minimal equipment. There are lots of fitness diagrams and videos built around Pilates and bodyweight exercises, allowing you to take 15-minutes of your day for a quick sweat session.

Meditate

Parenting expert Nancy Bardacke has developed the concept of mindful baby holding. This practice is akin to meditation, where you really zone in and focus on how you and your baby are feeling. Not only does this practice put you in touch with your body, it also helps you form a stronger emotional connection with your baby.

Bardacke emphasizes the importance of your breathing; focusing on slowly inhaling and exhaling to calm your body down. This also makes it easier to tune in with your body and see how it feels to carry your baby, whether you’re sitting down or standing up.

Taking care of yourself after a pregnancy is key to becoming a good parent for your child, as it gives you clear headspace and a positive sense of self-esteem. Being patient with yourself and understanding the changes your body goes through is important, and is something to always keep in mind throughout your post-pregnancy journey.